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The Future of Science Fiction and Science Fantasy

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  • Tales from Tanelorn
    Eternal Champion
    • Dec 2003
    • 2110

    The Future of Science Fiction and Science Fantasy

    When I go I am going to leave my body to Science Fiction... so said Steven Wright, but where does Science Fiction/Science Fantasy go from here?
    What areas are fresh and new and what could a young writer write about today in these genres that has not already been covered by others in the past?
    I guess that making up and telling a good yarn in good prose is always going to be a good thing regardless of whether it extends the envelopes,
    but it would be interesting to discuss whether there are new frontiers that are just waiting to be discovered?
    Last edited by Tales from Tanelorn; 11-23-2006, 10:21 AM.
  • Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    • Dec 2003
    • 14278

    New writers have to invent new ways of telling a story so that it is exactly theirs, not distorted by the demands of genre. So you need forever to be testing the conventions of genre as well as working out new ways, in various techniques, of telling your tale. If you just try to reproduce what you enjoyed in someone else's work, you're probably going to produce nothing much more than a xerox or, worse, a xerox of a xerox. Put your self into the work, too. Don't borrow your characters unless it's from you and people you know well. They can always be dressed up in a funny suit and still be the character you know...

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses


    • Ilium
      Corsair of the Second Ether
      • Oct 2006
      • 86

      >New writers have to invent new ways of telling a story so that it is exactly theirs, not distorted by the demands of genre.

      As I reader, and not a writer, I do agree. There is nothing worse than picking up a book, only to find that many of the plot etc. have been, mimicked from another author's work. What I look for in any literature, is that all though the most themes have been disccused , those aurthors that some how make it feel fresh and alive are the ones that I will read again and again.
      Particle Man, Particle Man Doing the things a particle can What's he like, it's not important Particle Man


      • Tales from Tanelorn
        Eternal Champion
        • Dec 2003
        • 2110

        Mike, thanks for your reply, that was very useful indeed in understanding the things which are important to writing a good novel.
        I shall think more about new ways of telling a story.

        Incidentally, If I do write a story it will likely be written slowly over many years and be influenced by the Books of Corum as well as movies like Rob Roy
        and LOTR. I think I will also try to imagine that I am telling the story to someone in my own family ie. in a very informal way.
        These things may place certain restrictions over the form it can take.

        Does anyone know if writing the story in the first person works, ie.
        witnessed through the eyes and thoughts of one of the central characters, probably the hero?
        Last edited by Tales from Tanelorn; 11-24-2006, 11:40 AM.


        • Tales from Tanelorn
          Eternal Champion
          • Dec 2003
          • 2110

          The following is off topic and more along the lines of Science Fact, but equally fantastic as some Science Fiction:

          The world is clearly being threatened by global warming. The new ITER Fusion project, if successful, would provide an alternative energy source which has low short lived radiation and virtually no carbon footprint. It will likely be ~30 years before we will know if it can successfully and reliably produce the promised ~500MW fusion energy whilst consuming only ~50MW of plasma energy. The first picture here gives an idea of the scale and the environment in which the fusion occurs as well as a comparison to the earlier British JET Tokamac:

          "The American life span has extended by 40 years in the past 100 years: by 3 years due to medical advances and by 37 years due to engineering advances. These advances to public well-being through good engineering were achieved by:
          - provision of clean water (Civil Engineering)
          - removal of wastes (Civil & Resource Engineering)
          - upgrade of human living space (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering)
          - upgrade of food supplies (Agricultural, Chemical, Electrical Engineering)."
          Last edited by Tales from Tanelorn; 12-09-2006, 08:30 AM.


          • RDAdams
            Moonbeam Traveller
            • Dec 2006
            • 1

            Back to the Future? (of Science Fiction)

            Given some of the current research (Neurophysiology wise etc)(and taking into account how incompetently designed sociology research has been) perhaps it is time to start playing around with the Nurture/Nature debates again and impact on relationship with technology (and at what age that technnology impacts). (what percentage of genes / brain stem function do I share with this animal? and at what age?)(and what difference does it make if any?)

            Ho Hum.
            Was less more. I hope I will not be boring any one by adding this.
            What link does my brain stem have to that of a digitised shadow cat.? I hope non.
            I assume my ancestors survived, and I expect that the emergent aspect of my genes that I call a brain stem is very resiliently coded. I suspect that my brain stem is amazingly similar to many mammals.
            Why is that important to consider?
            Consider this old medical chant.
            “Children under the age of 11 vomit if they get too hot, children under the age of 5 fit if they get too hot, and children under age of 2 die if they get too hot. “
            Not a particularly good one. It does not point out that it is referring to the effect of the thermoregulatory centre in the brain stem in causing spikes of temperature in response to infection. It does not directly link into the meme of “ Ugs child in the cave survived because its spike of temperature slowed the infection, and so Ugs child survived. Its only a problem now because we have central heating and better, warmer clothing.”
            Nice story, till you find out that in Tiger bay in Cardiff the Asian derived sub population have a lower than expected rate of sudden infant death despite nursing their infants in bed, probably because all ways someone is awake and playing with the infant - whilst they are in bed.
            I don’t feel like playing through all the variants of evolution ( genetic, memetic etc) that I could around these ideas – can I leave it to others. Paracetamol. Nanite modification. Environment. What if another behaviour is linked to the tendency to have higher temperature in response to infection.
            Even this minor thing can interact with other factors, perhaps. Another interesting story, but is it falsifiable. Imagine an environment ( eg “cold ?”). Mans technical interaction with that environment ( eg quality of housing, clothing). Events “Dear Boy” ( Wreckage of Armada Ships off the West of Ireland). Result a population of descendents indistinguishable from their compatriots aside from a tendency to Sickle Cell Disease.
            Last edited by RDAdams; 12-07-2006, 02:31 PM.


            • Tales from Tanelorn
              Eternal Champion
              • Dec 2003
              • 2110

              Another interesting bit of info I recalled recently was the Arecibo SETI Broadcast!
              I was initially quite surprised to learn that they could transmit the length of the Galaxy with all the interferers that exist out there from Black holes to Quasars, but the key is the narrow beam and slow data rate.

              In 1974, the most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space was made from Puerto Rico. The broadcast formed part of the ceremonies held to mark a major upgrade to the Arecibo Radio Telescope. The transmission consisted of a simple, pictorial message, aimed at our putative cosmic companions in the globular star cluster M13. This cluster is roughly 21,000 light-years from us, near the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, and contains approximately a third of a million stars.
              The broadcast was particularly powerful because it used Arecibo's megawatt transmitter attached to its 305 meter antenna. The latter concentrates the transmitter energy by beaming it into a very small patch of sky. The emission was equivalent to a 20 trillion watt omnidirectional broadcast, and would be detectable by a SETI experiment just about anywhere in the galaxy, assuming a receiving antenna similar in size to Arecibo's.

              Last edited by Tales from Tanelorn; 12-09-2006, 08:29 AM.


              • Sector 7G
                Nomad of the Time Streams
                • Sep 2005
                • 45

                I have written a fair amount of short stories, poems and have recently started a novel. Writing, as with other mediums of art, is a process. For now, I am concentrating on creating something that is solely my own without the scent of other authors. I am actually binding a collection this week with artwork contributions from 2 very talented family members. My work has not developed far enough to plague a publisher with my writing but I enjoy the process. If interested, I may put a couple of short stories for Multiverse critique.